The IPL newsletter: Volume 23, Issue 480

March 1, 2023

News from the IPL


Does Canada have an effective innovation policy?

March 16, 2023 |11:00AM - 12:00PM, Online via Zoom

Since 2000 Canada has witnessed a proliferation of Innovation Strategies, including the 2017 Innovation and Skills Plan. Yet our innovation performance continued to deteriorate throughout this period. The 2022 Federal Budget began with the admission, “Our third pillar for growth is a plan to tackle the Achilles’ heel of the Canadian economy: productivity and innovation.” What factors best explain Canada’s dismal innovation performance over the past two decades? Join us for an IPL webinar with two of the most insightful analysts of Canadian innovation policy.

Poster for March 16th IPL webinar titled Does Canada have an effective innovation policy


Evidence use in State policymaking: A bibliometric analysis of two consequential policy areas

March 9, 2023 | 4:00PM - 6:00PM, In-person, Boardroom at the Munk School, 315 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON.

Kimberley R. Isett, Professor, Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy and Administration, University of Delaware



Advancing prosperity and economic opportunities through a twin transition

Shauna Brail, The Hill Times
This op-ed by IPL Affiliated Faculty member Shauna Brail
discusses the economic opportunities presented by the twin transition of innovation and the application of digital technologies that enhance sustainability. The article describes how mobility innovations have the potential to help Canada reduce emissions hold the promise of contributing to sustainability efforts. To unlock this potential, Canada needs to focus on high-speed rail, urban public transit, and urban mobility.

Socially Irresponsible Employment in Emerging-Market Manufacturers

Greg Distelhorst, Anita McGahan, Organization Studies
This article was co-authored by IPL Affiliated Faculty member Anita McGahan and was featured in the latest issue of the Rotman Management Magazine. "
Are socially irresponsible employment practices, such as abusive discipline and wage theft, systematically tied to manufacturing outcomes in emerging-market countries? Drawing on a stream of stakeholder theory that emphasizes economic interdependencies and insights from the fields of industrial relations and human resource management, we argue that working conditions within a firm are facets of a systemic approach to value creation and value appropriation. Some manufacturers operate “low road” systems that rest on harmful practices. Others operate “high road” systems in which the need to develop employees’ human capital deters socially irresponsible employment practices. To test the theory, we conduct a large-scale study of labor violations and manufacturing outcomes by analyzing data on over four thousand export-oriented small manufacturers in 48 emerging-market countries. The analysis demonstrates that socially irresponsible employment practices are associated with inferior firm-level manufacturing outcomes even after controlling for the effects of firm size, industry, product mix, production processes, host country, destination markets, and buyer mix. The theory and results suggest an opportunity for multinational corporations to improve corporate social performance in global value chains by encouraging their suppliers to transition to systems of value creation that rely on the development of worker human capital."

U of T Public Policy Reports Collection  

The Division of the Vice-President, Research and Innovation (VPRI) and the University of Toronto Libraries (UTL) have issued a call for submissions to U of T’s Public Policy Reports Collection on TSpace. This unique collaboration promotes public policy-related working papers authored by the U of T community and hosted on TSpace, a free and secure research repository. The collection provides permanent URLs on a high-traffic platform, enabling timely research to be available sooner than through traditional scholarly publication channels. Submit current and past policy reports here.


Editor's Pick

Creating a Canadian Advantage: Policies to Help Canada Compete for Low-Carbon Investment

Bentley Allan & Michael Bernstein, The Transition Accelerator & Clean Prosperity
There is a risk that Canada could miss out on the huge opportunities available in the low-carbon transition because our investment environment is less attractive than that in the United States. In particular, the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) has opened up a wide gap between the revenue available from public-policy sources for new low-carbon technology deployment in Canada versus the US. This report looks at seven low-carbon technology cases and recommends two policy options to address this imbalance: a systematic narrowing of revenue gaps by converting uncertain carbon market revenues into bankable revenues, using a policy like contracts for difference; and the strategic deployment of production tax credits as part of an industrial policy push in high priority sectors.


Cities & Regions

Estimated State-Level Employment Impact of Enhancing Federal R&D Tax Incentives

Ian Clay, ITIF
Tax incentives for research and development (R&D) in America are less generous than in comparable countries—and now prevent firms from expensing the full value of R&D investments in the first year. This report estimates the employment gains to each state (and Washington, D.C.) under three scenarios: 1. If full expensing of R&D expenditures in the first year is restored. 2. If the statutory rates of the regular credit (RC) and alternative simplified credit (ASC) for qualified research and development expenditures (QRE) are doubled to 28 percent and 40 percent, respectively. 3. If full expensing is restored and the rates are doubled.



Firms and innovation in the new industrial paradigm of the digital transformation

Elena Cefis, Riccardo Leoncini, Luigi Marengo & Sandro Montresor, Industry & Innovation
The unfolding of the digital transformation, often associated with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, has been attracting increasing attention in diverse academic disciplines. The related research has already populated several special issues that represent important guideposts for future studies on the topic. However, a paper collection with an ‘Industry and Innovation’ perspective, dealing with how firms behave, innovate, and perform in the new industrial paradigm, is still missing. This special issue aims to fill this gap. The six research articles investigate how firms face digital transformation from three different angles, looking at its determinants, the patterns of its unfolding, and its techno-economic effects. The variety of the theoretical backgrounds, data sources, and empirical methodologies, along with the originality and managerial/policy relevance of their results, make the special issue a privileged point of view to investigate the new industrial paradigm.

Tracking the Post-IRA Boom in the US EV Supply Chain

Jay Turner, Arzy Abliadzhyieva, Pranathi Chintalapudi, CleanTechnica
This report tracks the response to the Inflation Reduction Act in the EV industry, inventorying publicly announced projects based on planned capital investments, production targets, employment goals, location, and types of government support. The estimates are based on publicly announced projects (including factories, refineries, and mines) with specific production targets and timelines.

Innovation Policy

Vision for Success: Commercial Fabrication Facilities

U.S. Department of Commerce
This summary provides an overview of the CHIPS Program Office’s “Vision for Success” for the first CHIPS investments under the CHIPS Act. The document identifies nine cross-cutting themes to guide implementation efforts:catalyzing private investment; encouraging customer demand; engaging with U.S. partners and allies; building a skilled and diverse workforce; reducing time-to-build; reducing costs through innovation; promoting the operational security, supply chain security, and cybersecurity of CHIPS-funded facilities; spurring regional economic development and inclusive economic growth; and enforcing guardrails. Later in 2023, the CHIPS Program Office will release separate funding opportunities for semiconductor materials and manufacturing equipment facilities, and for R&D facilities.

Government of Canada announces renewed funding for the Global Innovation Clusters 

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
This post details the recent announcement by the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry of renewed funding for Canada's Global Innovation Clusters. Each cluster will receive renewed support to expand its national presence and deepen its impact at home and abroad. The announcement follows a competitive assessment process, based on financial track record and program metrics.

Directionality challenges for transformative innovation policy: lessons from implementing climate goals in the process industry

Anna Bergek, Hans Hellsmark & Kersti Karltorp, Industry & Innovation
In the new paradigm of ‘transformative’ or ‘mission-oriented’ innovation policy, which addresses broad societal challenges, policy makers are given a large responsibility for setting or shaping the direction of socio-technical transitions. However, the literature has so far not provided much concrete advice on how to achieve directionality in practice. The main argument of this conceptual article is that a more detailed approach is needed to better understand the challenges policy makers might face when they attempt to translate societal goals into more concrete and actionable policy agendas. It identifies and discusses eight analytically derived directionality challenges: handling goal conflicts, defining system boundaries, identifying realistic pathways, formulating strategies, realising destabilisation, mobilising relevant policy domains, identifying target groups, and accessing intervention points. To illustrate these challenges, the article uses examples from the implementation of the Swedish climate goal in the process industry.

Responsible research and innovation in Europe: empirical evidence from regional planning initiatives in Austria, Norway, and Spain

Donatella Casale Mashiah, Itai Beeri, Eran Vigoda-Gadot & Alan Hartman, European Planning Studies
Responsible research and innovation (RRI) has recently emerged as a policy framework to align technological innovation with broader social values. It helps regions focus on their strengths and boost their innovation, growth, and prosperity through partnerships between business, public entities, and knowledge institutions. However, the study of RRI dynamics including whether and how attitudes, drivers, and behaviours at the individual, organizational, and network levels affect the impact of RRI, is in its infancy. Based on a survey of societal actors from three regional innovation ecosystems in Norway, Austria, and Spain, the article examines the role of RRI in responsible regional planning. The study advances our knowledge about regional innovation policies by providing evidence of how different stakeholders and policymakers engage in RRI when designing responsible regional planning. The article identifes the extent to which they incorporate RRI activities into their work practices, the extent to which their organizations and network support their practices and outcomes, and the effects they have observed. The study also considers the factors that promote or impede RRI activities. The results are particularly relevant for policy makers interested in strengthening regional innovation policies and boosting regional growth via RRI.

Policy Digest

Government releases blueprint for Canada Innovation Corporation

Department of Finance Canada
This document recently released by the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, and the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, serves as blueprint that will guide the operations of the new Canada Innovation Corporation (CIC). The document provides more detail on the commitment in Budget 2022 to establish an innovation agency to drive Canadian business investment in research and development (R&D) and foster economic growth.

The CIC will operate with an initial budget of $2.6 billion over four years, and is expected to begin its operations in 2023. Using best practices established by similar agencies around the world, the CIC will be an operationally independent, outcome-driven organization, that will work with the private sector to provide targeted support to new and established Canadian firms by delivering funding and advisory services.


  • While Canada excels at scientific discovery and invention, Canadian businesses do not invest in R&D to the same degree as their global peers. Relatedly, Canada’s productivity level relative to the U.S. has fallen from approximately 90 per cent in 1980 to approximately 75 per cent today. As such, the CIC will have a focused, outcome-driven mandate to increase Canadian business expenditure on R&D across all sectors and regions of Canada, and help to generate new and improved products and processes that will support the productivity and growth of Canadian firms.

Mandate and Functions

  • The CIC will deliver funding and advisory services that will encourage more Canadian firms to initiate and scale R&D activities in Canada for the purpose of producing new and improved, globally competitive products, processes, and services. The CIC will administer financial support in the form of grants and contributions (expected to range from roughly $50,000 to $5 million per project) to support R&D projects in both emerging high-technology sectors and within established industries via applied research projects, experimental development projects, and technological adaptation projects. The CIC will also provide advisory services that connect firms to funding, intellectual property resources, public/higher education researchers, and other firms for R&D collaboration. Finally, CIC's foresight and experimentation function will establish a strategy team to conduct ongoing program impact evaluation to build collective awareness of emerging growth opportunities in the context of evolving private sector needs.

  • To capture the maximum economic benefit for Canada resulting from Canadian business investments in R&D, the CIC will:

    • 1. Conduct an assessment of the potential for the creation, commercialization, and retention of intangible assets in Canada as part of R&D project evaluations.

    • 2. Deliver an appropriate mix of funding mechanisms and repayment requirements to minimize the transfer of intellectual property resulting from CIC-funded projects.

    • 3. In time, the CIC could experiment with institutional approaches to providing greater protection to growing Canadian companies that are commercializing intangible assets, such as by establishing patent collectives or partnering with existing patent collectives.

Complementing Other Federal Programs

  • To build a national-scale platform of business R&D support, the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) will join the CIC. NRC IRAP provides a strong foundation upon which the CIC will be able to build an integrated platform and continuum of support, service, and strategy across all technologies and industries. This is a similar step to the creation of other science-based departments and agencies spun out from the National Research Council, such as the Canadian Space Agency, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.

  • The CIC will work collaboratively with the Regional Development Agencies and the Strategic Innovation Fund to ensure that businesses have seamless access to scale-up support and growth financing. The CIC will be able to offer technical expert review and validation of R&D projects to assist with the delivery of support by other departments and agencies. The Innovation Canada platform, delivered by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, will continue to offer a single-window access to government programs delivered across all departments and agencies, including the CIC and other Crown corporations, such as EDC and BDC.

Governance and Operations

  • It is proposed that the CIC be established as a new Crown corporation via enabling legislation that will be introduced in 2023. It will be governed by a Board of Directors, and run by a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The Board of Directors will be appointed by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, following consultation with the Minister of Finance, and on the approval of the Governor in Council. The Board of Directors will recommend a shortlist of candidates for the position of CEO to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, who will then appoint the CEO following consultation with the Minister of Finance.

  • The CIC will be accountable to Parliament, but will operate independently from government on a day-to-day basis and draw on private sector experts to create new jobs, generate new and improved goods and services, and help Canadian businesses succeed in a changing global economy.

  • The CIC is being established in the near term as a subsidiary of the Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDEV) to begin the recruitment of senior leadership and establish the CIC’s operations.

Links to recent IPL webinars

The Politics of Decarbonization

Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy

The transition to a post-carbon energy and economic paradigm is a stated priority for all the signatories to the Paris Accord, including Canada. Success in achieving this objective will depend on a complex mix of policy experimentation and coalition building in support of that objective, cutting across virtually every sector of the economy. This panel will explore some of the dimensions of that process and the prospects for success in achieving that objective.

Moderator: David A. Wolfe is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto Mississauga and Co-Director of the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.


  • Brendan Haley is Policy Research Director at Efficiency Canada, a research and advocacy organization based at Carleton University. He has a PhD in Public Policy from Carleton University and was awarded a Banting postdoctoral fellowship where his work examined Canadian energy transitions from political economy and technological innovation perspectives.

  • Sara Hastings-Simon is macro energy system researcher and Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary where she directs the Masters of Science in Sustainable Energy Development.

  • Nathan Lemphers is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo and former Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smart Prosperity Institute where he researched the regional political economy of electric vehicles. Sponsored by the Innovation Policy Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy

National Governments & Innovation Policy: Where – and What – Is Utopia?

This is a recording of a January 10 panel focused on national governments and Innovation policy. Canada, the Nordics, Taiwan? In this webinar, panelists examined the diverse roles played by national governments in setting the stage for innovation, as well as the key elements that ought to be considered in formulation of innovation policy in Canada and elsewhere.


  • Susana Borras, Professor, Department of Organization, Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen Denmark

  • Dan Breznitz, University Professor and Munk Chair of Innovation Studies; Co-Director, Innovation Policy Lab, Munk School; Clifford Clark Visiting Economist, Department of Finance, Government of Canada

  • Darius Ornston, Associate Professor, Munk School

  • Joseph Wong, Vice-President, International, University of Toronto; Roz and Ralph Halbert Professor of Innovation, Munk School; Professor, Department of Political Science


  • Rana Foroohar, Global Business Columnist and Associate Editor, Financial Times, and Global Economic Analyst, CNN


16th Workshop on The Organisation, Economics and Policy of Scientific Research

13 – 14 April 2023
The Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition and TUM are organising the annual workshop “The Organisation, Economics and Policy of Scientific Research” at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich. We aim to attract contributions from both junior and senior scholars on topics related to the organisation, economics and policy of scientific research. A minimum number of slots are reserved for junior researchers (PhD students or postdoc scholars who obtained their PhD in 2020 or later). Please submit previously unpublished papers or extended abstracts (min 3 pages) by 15 January 2023. We strive to notify authors by 27 February 2023.

22nd Annual Research Money Conference - Reimagining Innovation: A New Strategy in a Disrupted World

18-20 April 2023, Ottawa, ON
The 22nd Annual Research Money conference will be taking a deep dive into innovation policy weeks after the federal budget comes down from Ottawa. Over the span of three days, keynotes and expert panels will examine innovation through three lenses; Understanding innovation, Doing innovation and Supporting innovation. This highly anticipated conference attracts 200+ leaders and practitioners from academia, government, industry, finance and the not-for-profit sector. 

Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy

May 24-26, 2023, Georgia Institute of Technology Global Learning Center, Atlanta
The Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy provides a showcase for the highest quality scholarship from around the world addressing the challenges and characteristics of science and innovation policy and processes.


June 27 to 29, 2023, Toronto
The 6th International Conference on Public Policy (ICPP6) is coming to Toronto! Organized by IPPA, ICPP6 is hosted by the Toronto Metropolitan University's Faculty of Arts and Public Policy graduate studies programs and will take place at the University's premises in downtown Toronto from June 27 to 29, 2023, with a Pre-Conference on June 26. This conference includes a panel chaired by IPL Co-director Dan Breznitz called "Organizational Evolution in Innovation Policy." See here for submission instructions. The paper submission deadline is Jan. 31, 2023.


Research professional (French & English speaking and writing are required) under the responsibility of the Innovation Chair and 4POINT0 in Catherine Beaudry's team. They are looking for a PhD student, a graduate student, a post-doc or others who can mainly coordinate student research projects and write grant proposals. They strongly advise you to contact them for the terms of the job offer. Deadline 30th January.

Subscriptions & Comments

Please forward this newsletter to anyone you think will find it of value. We look forward to collaborating with you on this initiative. If you would like to comment on, or contribute to, the content, subscribe or unsubscribe, please contact us at .

This newsletter is prepared by Travis Southin.
Project manager is David A. Wolfe